"Of course 18 lbs of books is healthy for my spine! Why would you think otherwise?"

Hello my fellow Scoliotics (That's right, College has taught me it's all right to make up words as long as I sound confident while saying them. Next time you're out in public, look around menacingly and when questioned, say that you are currently henchmenning. Seriously, it's fun.)

Lethbridge, Alberta is a flat, flat place, with a rather large gaping chasm in between my home and the College. That equates to an hour long bus ride every day to and from school. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying my courses and have discovered a new found love for Forensic Psychology, however I do have a bone to pick with the establishment.

Text books. Bad enough that I had to sell off a kidney and 1/3 of my liver just to afford the Human Development text book, but now I, with what I think we can all agree is a bit of a buggered spine, have to haul around five monster text books. Fortunately, not all at the same time, but that really doesn't make much of a difference as the end of the day when the two innocent discs in my lower back are forced to twist and grind and whine back into alignment. Not only am I finding it a less than enjoyable experience, I also have to deal with roommates from hell and that, dear friends, is a rant for another day (although incidentally did you know I'm a terrible person? I learned that on Friday during a house meeting where I was literally stripped of all my self-worth. Sure, I'm hard to get a long with, but only if you're a douche bag. At least I'm aware of my personality flaws thank you very much. Calm down. Calm down. It's okay.)

Apart from roommate issues and the fact that I have finally discovered what it is like to be unable to uncurl from the fetal position, I'd say college is okay. I'm not thrilled about the sociology courses, but that's only because I've discovered this love of Criminals (HA! You know what I mean) and their delightfully evil brains. All this interest and joy is taking up spaces that might have been reserved for sociology and politics, sorry Professors. This joy just got a whole lot better, literally an hour ago, when I discovered the project I have chosen for my research paper (A comparison between inmate segregation in the early 19th century and modern prison systems) has a wealth of information. Don't ask me where this strange love of the criminal mind comes from. I just finished ready a book about Alcatraz and am completely smitten with its history. I think I must have a problem.

But enough about school, on to more important things. Namely, my needing a big mom hug right about now. I didn't realize when I moved that the one thing I would miss most of all was the comforting Mom Hugs I was able to receive on a daily basis whenever my back started to act up. For whatever reason I've had a couple really bad weeks since moving, which I'm telling myself isn't psychological but the result of toting the equivalent of several small sherpas around on my back every day. I've missed more classes than I'd like to admit simply because I woke up in the morning and could just feel the pain creeping in. Those days are the worst, because my inmates -sorry- roommates, (I honestly actually typed 'inmates'. It wasn't meant to be a joke; it just sort of ended up as one) have little to no understanding of what the pain is like. That makes it worse, because when they complain about why I haven't moved this or that out of the way, they honestly can't grasp that walking up fourteen steps is a challenge for me, that every movement of living like this is driving me a little bit closer to the edge of insanity and they will be the first victims when I go for the clever.

Yeah, they don't quite get that, and so I have to grin and bear it and suppress the violent urges as best I can. And all I want is a mom hug. Maybe a mom pity or two. And then I want a mom-tuck-into-bed and I'll be good to go. Let me tell you, I'm the mother of the house, and me hugging myself really doesn't have the same effect.

I'm going to start going to the school shrink, just for the sake of having someone to talk to about this. There's no support system in the house and I really don't feel any better after talking to my mom on the phone. I think after ten, almost eleven years if you can believe that, of living with this, I need to start taking the psychological healing to the next phase. I don't want to be filled with self-pity, nor do I want to slaughter my roommates and hide their bodies under the deck. Mostly because there are dogs and they would totally find the remains and then the police would ask all these questions and I'd have to be all "I don't know, I just live here. I rent the room. It's got nothing to do with me." And really, they aren't going to fall for that.

I think anyone with a debilitating condition can forget the toll it takes on them. I got the wake up call yesterday in Intro to Psychology when we learned about universal and variational human development. Essentially we all engage in the same developmental curve, but when something comes along, say, oh I don't know, multiple surgeries on ones spine, it stops our development as our peers continue. Eventually we have to rejoin them, but we do so without certain skills that our peers were able to develop during our down time. It means there's a lot of catching up to do, and I'm fairly certain I, and possibly some of you, have a tendency to overcompensate. I know I went from being a normal 13 year-old to somehow being 45 and trapped in a kids body. To make it short and sweet, it can screw you up, and we have a tendency to forget, or deny, the effects.

Life is crummy for everyone, we just happened to draw the short straw on the Happy-Fun-Fun-Experiences-of-Life contest. Now, physically we might be at the mercy of doctors and nurses and shamans, but that doesn't mean we have to let ourselves, that is, our minds and personalities suffer because of it. I know I'm obviously letting myself get torn down because the support system that was so consistent for the first ten years of my experience is suddenly gone, and there is nothing in its place. Trust me. My roommates are useless for that. But I can't keep holding it in, or thinking I'm wise enough or mature enough to handle it on my own. Humans need support systems; without it we let the stresses build up, and somehow the very essence of who we are have to suffer. That's probably why I just sat there on Friday night and let five people tear into my personality, because the last two months have consisted of me losing sight of myself.

I can't deal with this on my own; it's not a cry for pity, it's just a fact. Thank god I'm smart enough to realize it now and take some responsibility for it.

And by the way, the roommates are total hypocrites. They whine about me leaving a mug in the sink over night and when I get home from school the sink is full of their dishes?! What the hell. I am so glad I'm not as thick as a block of cement like the rest of them. I am so, so very glad.

Seriously, hypocrites.

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